Autonomous systems must conform with individuals and with society at large. Such systems often integrate into an autonomous ecosystem, which encompasses the autonomous systems themselves, along with the connections and interactions they have. Applications can be with the physical environment, with humans, or over networks. They must be assured, resilient, productive, and fair in the autonomous future.

Systems engineering is critical for ensuring the operational success of autonomous systems. The technology must be architected for resiliency, extensibility, and evolution as increasing levels of autonomy place new demands on underlying infrastructures. New systems engineering approaches must be developed to manage the unprecedented level of interactions between autonomous platforms in an autonomous ecosystem.

Human-system interaction must provide people with an understanding of autonomous systems’ decisions and actions, the ability to interact at appropriate levels of abstraction, and the ability to override the system’s actions. New human-system engineering techniques are needed to ensure autonomous systems will be smoothly and readily adopted into society.